Thursday, November 08, 2007

2007 IAF—Film Noir

Per the IAF program: "It's universally understood that you're in a pinch if you wake up beneath the Hollywood sign next to a dead cop. Things are a bit more dicey if you also have amnesia. As you piece together your identity and find out that you're a sadistic bastard wanted by good and bad guys alike, you know you're in for some serious trouble. This is our hero's predicament, and the question of just how he will find himself forms the premise of Film Noir. Representing a truly global approach to filmmaking, this French-distributed, English-language film was produced by a primarily Serbian crew. Filled with twists and turns, and gleaming with an aesthetic reminiscent of classic black-and-white Hollywood flicks, Film Noir adds flashes of color and a generous dollop of explicit sex to update the form. (For mature audiences)"

In its U.S. premiere at San Francisco's International Animation Festival, writer-director D. Jud Jones and co-director-chief animator Risto Topaloski's Film Noir nowhere approximates the chiaroscuric virtuousity of last year's Renaissance—its digital effects don't quite match Christian Volckman's standard—but, all in all, Film Noir has received favorable reviews, no less from Variety, possibly because it doesn't aim so high to be an art film and audiences find its hardboiled narrative accessible. Toss in a tip of the hat to Frank Miller's Sin City franchise with its splashes of appropriately-situated color against black and white backdrops, and some curvaceous duplicitous dames to die for, and what you get is a steamy, sax-driven story of sex, greed and murder; an evening's worth of solid adult entertainment.

As Alissa Simon spells out at Variety: "Contempo setting lets the helmers have fun with modern technology, including speed dial, the Internet, and top-of-the-line weaponry. Pop art (particularly the work of Roy Lichtenstein), graphic novels and Japanime are all clear influences. In addition to 3-D animation, the pic also incorporates photos of modern-day L.A. processed with filters and photoshopped, HD-shot backgrounds. [Take note of Quinceañera billed on an L.A. movie marquee.]

"L.A.-based Jones—a pseudonym for Serbian expat Srdjan Penezic, who's spent 20 years Stateside helming commercials and corporate videos—and S.F.-based producer Miodrag Certic contracted with Risto Topaloski's Belgrade animation studio Dosije-Awe. Though produced via U.S.-based Easy E Films, the pic is the first feature toon to use animation facilities anywhere in former Yugoslavia."

Cross-published at Twitch.